A brief Study on Quality Control Attributes of Agricultural Inputs (seeds and fertilizers) by Md. Kamaruzzaman Shakil


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Bangladesh is primarily an agriculture based country with agriculture accounting for 23.50% of the country’s GDP. About 62% of the people are engaged in agricultural product. Previous some decades Bangladesh is importing huge amount of rice, vegetables, fruits seed including hybrid variety and fertilizer from foreign countries. In Bangladesh only 10% of seeds used for crop production are produced by the government or semi government organizations. The rest (90%) of total requirements of the country are met by the farmer’s own seed of unknown quality with respect to quality and health standard. As many as quality less and 490 seed-borne diseases affecting the seed of 76 different important crops are established in the country and these cause yield losses annually. On the other hand adulated fertilizer may responsible for economic loose with decreasing soil fertility. Poor or quality less fertilizer has significant effect on our overall production. So, role of seed quality and fertilizers are vice versa. Development of quick and cheap earthen dish-newsprint technique of seed and fertilizer quality determination by using physical and chemicals methods have been described. Measures to overcome the activity, problems are discussed in this report. Standard storage condition both seeds and fertilizers are discussed.

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A brief Study on Quality Control Attributes of Agricultural Inputs (seeds and fertilizers) by Md. Kamaruzzaman Shakil

  1. 1. AbstractsBangladesh is primarily an agriculture based country with agriculture accountingfor 23.50% of the country’s GDP. About 62% of the people are engaged inagricultural product. Previous some decades Bangladesh is importing huge amountof rice, vegetables, fruits seed including hybrid variety and fertilizer from foreigncountries. In Bangladesh only 10% of seeds used for crop production are producedby the government or semi government organizations. The rest (90%) of totalrequirements of the country are met by the farmer’s own seed of unknown qualitywith respect to quality and health standard. As many as quality less and 490 seed-borne diseases affecting the seed of 76 different important crops are established inthe country and these cause yield losses annually. On the other hand adulatedfertilizer may responsible for economic loose with decreasing soil fertility. Poor orquality less fertilizer has significant effect on our overall production. So, role ofseed quality and fertilizers are vice versa. Development of quick and cheap earthendish-newsprint technique of seed and fertilizer quality determination by usingphysical and chemicals methods have been described. Measures to overcome theactivity, problems are discussed in this report. Standard storage condition bothseeds and fertilizers are discussed 1
  2. 2. Objectives of the Study 1. To sketch out appropriate quality control of seed is according to ISTA rules and methods of fertilizer testing. 2. To provide standard guideline on storage practice both seeds and fertilizes. 2
  3. 3. 1. Quality Control on Seed 1.1. IntroductionSeed is the biological unit for propagation, carries genetic characteristics fromgeneration to generation. Agriculturally, seeds are any part of the plant(vegetativeor reproductive) capable of giving birth to a new plant of its kind.Seed is thefoundation of agriculture. Fig. Different parts of seed 1.2. Seed qualitySeed quality is a standard of excellence or the level of goodness in certaincharacters or attributes that will determine the performance of seeds as judge bythe succeeding crop. It refers to the general excellence of crop as manifested in itsfield performance by a certain satisfactory minimum standard for its consumptionand sale. An agricultural economist would regard seed quality as the sum total ofthe characters or attributes of seed which influence it acceptability to buyers andtherefore the price they are willing to pay for it.So, Quality seed ensure a uniform crop establishment with rational vigour andpopulation of seedlings per unit area of the field. It is only possible when seeds arehealthy means diseases free. The weaker and late emerging seedlings are poor invigorous, subsequently growth and productivity both in quality and quantity.Therefore, the selection of good seed is of prime importance for rising crops andripening a rich harvest. 3
  4. 4. 1.3. Importance of quality seed in crop productionQuality seed within variety gives good stand establishment in the soil which a turnensures a good crop production. A good seed also possess the capability ofsurviving well under adverse field conditions encountered in planting season,resists of diseases and insect pest attack and make the farming profitable. With theuse of quality seeds in the normal cultivation practices, yield of crops may beincreased up to 10-15%. No agricultural practice such as cultivation, irrigation,fertilization, pesticide application can improve crop production beyond the set bythe quality seed. So maintaining general excellence of crop, it is very important tomaintain proper seed health and quality. 1.4. Quality Control (QC)Quality Control is the systematic approach towards achievement and ormaintenance of quality standards. Quality control integrates random anduncoordinated activities directed towards achievement and maintenance of qualitystandards into a comprehensive and systematic programme. It does not permit vitaloperations or procedures to be accomplished or ignored by chance. 1.5. Characteristics of quality SeedA quality seed should possess the following characteristics-  The seeds should be of adaptable crop variety or hybrid.  The seeds should be pure (true to type) with high sowing quality (viable seeds).  The seeds should be free from seed-borne diseases and physiological disorders due to deficiency of plant nutrients.  The seed should be large (according to the variety), plump, bold, uniform in size, shape, color, texture and weight means homogenous.  The seed should be clean and free from inert matter such as crushed rock, dirt, grit, grit, chaff and trash.  The seed should be free from noxious or objectionable or satellite weed seeds.  The seeds should be free from insects, insect eggs, spore etc. in or on the seeds. 4
  5. 5.  The seed should be whole, not broken, crushed, peeled off, half rotten or affected with damp.  The seed should be uniformly well matured and contain required amount of moisture.  The seed should be germinated 80% and above. 1.6. Attributes of quality seedSeed quality attributes are as follows- 1) Genetic purity Purity of seed 2) Physical purity 3) Seed germination 4) Seed moisture 5) Seed viability 6) Seed vigour 7) Seed health*** 8) Other – a. Maturity b. Size, c. Shape, d. Color, e. weight, f. Specific gravity, g. Homogeneity 1.7. How seed quality determined?For justification of seed quality and health in appropriate standard, testing is onlyand actual way. 5
  6. 6. 2. Seed TestingSeed testing is the procedure by which the suitability of a seed to use as a plantingmaterial is evaluated. It is the science of evaluating seed quality for agriculturalpurpose. 2.1. Objectives of seed testingSeed testing is required to achieve the following objectives for minimizing therisks of planting low quality seeds.  To identify the quality problem and their probable cause  To determine their quality, that is, their suitability for planting  To determine the need for drying and processing and specific procedures that should be used  To determine if seed meets established quality standards or labeling specifications.  To establish quality and provide a basis for price and consumer discrimination among lots in the market.The primary aim of the seed testing is to obtain accurate and reproducible resultsregarding the quality status of the seed samples submitted to the Seed TestingLaboratories. 2.2. Importance of Seed TestingThe importance of seed testing was realized more than 100 years ago for assuredplanting values.  Seed testing is required to assess the seed quality attributes of the seed lots which have to be offered for sale.  Testing of seed to evaluate the planting value and the authenticity of the certified lot.  Quality control of seed depends on the different seed testing protocols which determine the genuineness of the cultivar.  These quality attributes are seed moisture content, germination and vigour, physical and genetic purity, freedom from seed borne diseases and insect infestation. In India, seed testing is done mainly for moisture, germination and physical purity of seeds.  The testing of seed quality is carried out on seed samples drawn from seed lot to be used for cultivation. 6
  7. 7.  The seed testing procedures which are described below are based mostly on the international rules because most of our rules are based on, 1STA, 1996. Economic yield of a crop depends on the quality of seeds which can be evaluated by seed testing (1STA, 1996). 2.3. Seed samplingIn the seed quality studies proper sampling is essential for obtaining accurate andreproducible results.Extremely small representative portion of a given seed lot is called seed sample. Fig. Inserting trier/probe to collect seed sample.Almost equal amount of seeds should be taken from each container/bag. Drawingof primary sample may vary from top, middle and bottom of the bag. Fig. Different types of trier/probes for drawing seed samples 7
  8. 8. The seed samples may be of the following categories- Primary sample: The small quantity of seeds taken from one point in the lot. Composite sample: Mixture or combination of all the primary samples. The primary samples are combined to make the composite sample which is usually much bigger than the required amount and must be reduced. Submitted sample: The properly reduced portion of a composite sample submitted to the testing laboratory. Working samples: Sub sample drawn properly from the submitted sample for practical analysis – purity, germination, health status etc. This is actually done for the required test. It should be ensured that the working sample is true representative of the submitted sample. The amount of working sample may be 400 seeds in replicates of 100 or 50 or 25 seeds. 8
  9. 9. 3. Purity Test of Seed:Seed purity denotes the composition of a particular seed lot. It is based on physicaldetermination of the component present and includes percentage by weight of pureseed, other crop seed, weed seed and inert matter.Objectives:  To ascertain the relative proportion of different component of a seed lot.  To identify the various species of seeds and inert particles constituting the sample.In accomplishing the objectives of the purity analysis, the sample the sample isseparated into the following component parts: a. Pure seed b. Other crop seed c. Weed seed d. Inert matterEquipment required: 1. Working board or seed board, 2. Forceps, 3. Magnifying glass 4. Petri dishes, 5. Analytical balance, 6. A fine needle.Working sample size:The sample size should be enough to contain 2500 seeds and subjected tomaximum amount of 1000g.Working sample size for purity test: Crops Weight (g) Rice 50 Maize 500 Jute 10 Mustard 5 Lentil 50 Tobacco 0.5 Wheat 100 9
  10. 10. Procedure: 1. Working sample was taken and seeds were separated on the working board. 2. All the 4 components (pure seed, other crop seed, weed seed and inert matter) were separated carefully. 3. The individual fractions were then weighted independently by electric balance. 4. The results were expressed in percentage.Result can be expressed by the following symbolic example-Let, total weight of working sample is W g. Fractions Weight (g) PercentagePure seed W1 (W1×100)÷WOther crop seed W2 (W2×100)÷WWeed seed W3 (W3×100)÷WInert matter W4 (W4×100)÷WTotal W 100Results:Pure seed =………%Other crop seed =…… %Weed seed =……… %Inert matter =……%Expected pure seed of quality seed are …………% Fig. Purity Board 10
  11. 11. % Fig. Purity analysis of seed 11
  12. 12. 4. Germination Test of SeedGermination is a process in which a seed awakens from dormancy and starts tosprout. In order to germinate light levels, oxygen availability, temperature andmoisture level must all be suitable. The first sign of germination is the protrusionof the radicle often through the micropyle. The results of seed germination areexpressed in terms of percentage by count. The germination rate of a particularseed lot is a key indicator as to how that seed will perform in the field.Objections: 1. To ascertain the relative proportion of seeds in question of a seed sample those are capable to produce normal seeding. 2. To determine the seed rate of any crop. 3. To determine the market price of seeds. 4. To determine the real value of seed (RVS) or pure live of seed (PLS)To accomplish germination test,seedlings are evaluated and categorized as follows-  NormalSeedlings: that possesses essential structures that are indicative of their ability to produce useful mature plants under favorable field conditions.  AbnormalSeedlings: that exhibit some form of growth but have insufficient structures to judge a healthy plant e.g. missing roots or shoots.  Fresh Seeds:Seeds that have failed to germinate but have imbibed water. They appear firm, fresh and capable of germination, but remain dormant.  Dormant Seeds: Viable seeds (other than hard seeds) that fail to germinate when given the prescribed or recommended germination conditions.  Hard Seeds:Seeds that remains hard at the end of the prescribed test period, because their seed coats are impermeable to water.  Dead Seeds:Seeds that cannot produce any part of a seedling. 12
  13. 13. Testing parameter of some agricultural seeds: Temperature Fist count Final count Crops Substrata Light (°C) (days) (days) Rice BP,TP,S 20-30 - 5 14 Wheat S, BP 20 - 4 8 Maize S, BP 20-30 - 4 7 Jute S, TP 30 L 3 5 Tobacco TP 20-30,15-25 L 7 16 Cole crop S, BP 20-30 L 5 10** TP= Top of paper, BP= Between of paper, S= Sand, L= LightMethods for Testing Germination: 1. Petri dish method***, 2. Rolled towel method, 3. Folder paper towel method, 4. Sand method, 5. Rag doll method etc.Material required: 1. Petri dishes, 2. Seeds, 3. Forceps, 4. Covering net, 5. Water, 6. Blotting paper/filter paper, 7. SandProcedure (petridish method): 1. About 400 seeds were taken without any biasness and all the taken seed are set at intervals for germination in the petridishes on a moist substratum. 2. The petridishes were then placed in the laboratory and number of seed set and date were recorded. 3. Sufficient care was taken so that the seeds do not dried till the end of the test. 4. Day to day observation and counting of seedling were necessary. Final counting was done on the specific day.Result can be expressed by the following symbolic example- No. of normal seedlings % Germination= × 100 No. of seeds set for germinationResult grading is as follows:10 = 100% or perfect germination9 = 90% or excellent8 = 80% or good6-7 = 60-70% or poor -- sow more thickly5 or less = 50% or less -- throw the seed out!! Fig. Germination test 13
  14. 14. 5. Moisture content of seedThe moisture content of a seed sample is loss fit weight of the seed sample when itis dried. Seed moisture is expressed as percentage of weight of original sample.Determination of moisture content play crucial role for maintaining proper qualityof seed in context of storage and remaining viability. Proper moisture contentincrease shelf life of seed and reduce diseases infestation means with insectsattack.Objectives: 1. To know the suitable drying condition of seed for preservation in storage. 2. To know the suitable time of harvesting of crops.Methods of measuring moisture seed moisture:There are different methods of measuring seed moisture content. They are asfollows- Basic method: a. Air oven dry method b. Water oven dry method c. Vacuum oven dry method d. Toluene distillation method Practical method: a. The brown-duvel distillation method b. Electric moisture meterPractical methods for determining the moisture of seed are needed under manycircumstances where the basic method takes too much time.Equipment required: Electric Moisture Meter.Result: The moisture content of the supplied seed sample…………..% Fig. Electric moisture meter 14
  15. 15. 6. Viability test of seedsViability means that a seed is capable of germinating and producing a normalseedling. Seed viability indicates that a seed contains structures and substancesincluding enzyme systems that give it the capacity to germinate under favorableconditions. Such a viable seed may or may not be immediately germinable. Seedviability is probably highest at the time of physiological maturity. The results areexpressed in terms of percentage.Objectives:To ascertain the proportion of living or dead seeds present in a seed sample.Methods of testing: 1. Standard germination test, 2. Tetrazolium test (biochemical test) ***, 3. Embryo excision test, 4.Electrical conductivity test, 5. Respiration test, 6. KMnO4test, 7. X- ray test, 8. Free fatty acid testApparatus required: 1. Seed sample, 2. Petridishes, 3. Knife/Scissors, 4. Magnifying glass, 5. Dropper and bottle, 6. Solution of Tetrazolium (0.1-0.5)Tetrazolium test (TZ test):The TZ test is a quick test used to estimate the germination potential of seed (seedviability). This test distinguishes between viable and dead tissues of the embryo onthe basis of their relative respiration in the hydrated state.The testing procedure is as follows- 1. The seed were soaked in water for overnight to allow absorption of soften the embryo, endosperm and active the enzyme system. 2. Seed coats were then removed to expose the embryo and facilitate the contact of the embryo with tetrazolium solution. 3. The seed (embryo) were then put in tetrazolium salt solution for two hours. 4. Then seeds were then washed repeatedly with distilled water. 5. Ultimately the seeds were examined under magnifying glass.Observation:Living seeds: red color or purple color of the embryo.Dead seeds: No color will be occurred in embryo which indicates the dead seed. Ifthe embryo of seed is not stained but red color develops on the other parts then itwill be treated as dead seed. 15
  16. 16. Calculation: No. of living seeds % Viable Seed = × 100 No. of seeds set for viability testExpected percentage of seed viability is……………% Fig. Tetrazolium tested living and dead seed sample 16
  17. 17. 7. Vigour test of seedsSeed vigour is the sum total of all attributes which resulted in quick, uniform andearly emergence of seedlings even in unfavorable environmental conditions. It is aphysiological property, which is determined by the genotype and is modified bythe environmental factors, which gives the ability of seeds to produce healthyseedling rapidly in the soil.Objectives: 1. To determine the suitability of seed as planting material. 2. To determine the vigour of seeds to face the stress conditions of the field. 3. To get idea about population of the seed.Methods of testing: 1. Brick gravel test, 2. Seedlings evaluation test, 3. Paper piercing test, 4. Accelerated aging, 5. Simplified flowerpot test etc.Apparatus required: 1. Germination box, 2. Aluminium tray, 3. Sand, 4. Brick gravelof 2-3 mm size, 5. Germinator, 6. Seed sample.Brick Gravel test for Seed Vigour:The test involves the use of a rather porous type brick gravel of 2 to 3 mm size. Inthis test for small grains, about 30 mm layer of moist gravel is placed above theseeds. This layer impedes the emergence of week, particularly diseased andotherwise injured seedlings. The seedlings that emerge through the layer of brickgravel are considered as vigorous.Procedure: 1. At first fifty seeds were taken and the sand is sieved, moistured and filled in the germination box leaving about 3 cm empty at the top. 2. Then the seed were placed on this moist sand. 3. Then a 30 mm layer of brick gravel was placed over the seeds. 4. The pot was then kept one week for observation. 5. Data collection.Calculation: No. Emerged Seedlings % Viable Seed = × 100 No. of seeds SownResult:% vigour of the seeds being tested were = ……… 17
  18. 18. 8. Seed Health TestingSeed Health:Seed health refers to the presence or absence of disease causing organisms such asfungi, bacteria, nematodes, viruses etc. in, on or with the seed or seed lot. Itconcerns the overall condition of seeds.Seed health standard:The maximum acceptable limit of the present of a pathogen in a given seed lot iscalled seed health standard. It is the amount of inoculum available with the seedresults in the development of the disease in the field under favorable environmentalcondition with acceptable limit.Seed Health Test:Seed health testing is a procedure by which it can be determined weatherseed/seeds is/are diseased or not. With this practice it can be determined whether aseed or seed lot is diseased or contaminated so as to provide reliable informationpertaining to the field performance of the seeds and SCA or quarantinerequirements.Objectives of seed health tests: 1. To know the seed health condition of the seed lot. 2. To meet the SCA and quarantine requirements. 3. To know the planting value of a seed lot. 4. To evaluate the food and feeding value of the seed. 5. To determine the storage quality of the seeds. 6. To determine the efficacy of the seed treatment.Methods of seed health testing: 1. Inspection of dry seeds***, 2. Seed washing for suspension, 3. Whole embryo count method, 4. Blotter method***, 5. Agar plate method, 6. Water agar plate method, 7. The Freezing method, 8. Seedling symptom method, 9. Serological test, 10. Growing on test***, 11. Field trials, 12. Inspection of seed crops. 18
  19. 19. 8.1. Dry inspection methodIn this method, the seed sample are examined by naked eyes or hand lensstereomicroscope and presence of fungi on the physical appearance of seeds, ifany, are observed and recorded. The fruiting structures of fungi in the form of –  Acervuli, pycnidai, pericthecia, sclerotia on the seed surface or submerged in the seed coat.  Sclerotia loosely mixed with seeds.  Part or completely smutted or bunted seeds.  Galled seeds.Physical abnormalities include-  Shriveling of seed coat  Reduction or increased seed size  Discoloration or spots in the seedsAdvantages: a. It is easy and quick method b. It does not required complicated material.Disadvantages: a. Only those pathogen or fungi producing external symptoms and sign can be identified. b. Sometimes badly infected seed looks like healthy. c. Variability of pathogen cannot be detected by this method. Fig.Inspection of dry seeds by woman 19
  20. 20. 8.2. Blotter methodThe blotter method is one of the incubation methods where seeds are planted onwell water socked blotters (filter papers) and they are usually incubated for 7 daysat (20±2) º C under 12 hours altering cycles of light and darkness. At the end of theincubation period, each seed is thoroughly examined under differentmagnifications of a stereomicroscope for the growth of the fungi. Blotter method iswidely used for seed health testing. It is used for all kinds of seeds.Procedure: 1. Take required number of plastic petridishes. 2. Disinfect the surface of the plates. 3. Place the seeds (25 seeds) in a petridish on three wet blotter papers in three rows circularly (16+8+1). 4. Place the petridishes for incubation at 20º C in suitable condition. 5. Examine the fungi on seed under stereomicroscope. 6. Observe growth characters and identify the fungi. 7. Count the number of infected seeds and calculated percent seed infection.Advantages: 1. Economics and useful method except dry inspection. 2. It is more natural type of test. 3. It can be widely used to detect many fungi pathogens from all kinds of seed.Disadvantage: 1. It required skilled person. 2. Pathogenic bacteria cannot be detected. 3. The method may be hampered due to the fast growing of certain fungi over the slow growing one. Fig. Blotter method 20
  21. 21. 8.3. Growing on TestProcedure: 1. Some pots to be taken with sterilized and sand. 2. Seeds to be placed randomly on the pots. 3. Pots to be placed in glass house or green house for minimum three (3) weeksAdvantage: 1. This method is used when blotter method and agar plate method failed. 2. This method is for those crops which can produce symptoms in mature stage e.g. lettuce mosaic virus. 3. Quarantine method is fulfills.Disadvantages: 1. This method is closely, time consuming and laborious. 2. It requires space, green house facilities, proper management etc. 3. It required experience. Fig. Growing on TestControl of seed borne diseases: 1. Use of healthy seeds (disease free, lesion free etc.) 2. Seed treatment with suitable chemical 3. Hot water treatment 4. Washing of seeds with normal water 5. Drying of seed under clean sunshine (e.g. Rice) 6. Physical seed sorting. 21
  22. 22. 9. General Principles of Quality Seed ProductionProduction of genetically pure and otherwise good quality seed, pedigree seed is anexciting task requiring high technical skill comparatively heavy financialinvestment. During seed production strict attention must be given on themaintenance of genetic purity and other qualities of seeds. In other word, seedproduction must be carried out under sterilized and well organized condition. A. Genetic principles:There are various steps suggested to maintenance of genetic purity during Seedproduction. They are as follows- 1. Use of approved seed only in the quality seed multiplication. 2. Inspection and approval of fields prior to planting. 3. Field inspection and approval of growing crops at critical stages for verification of genetic purity, detection of mixtures, weeds and free from noxious weeds and seed borne diseases. 4. Providing adequate isolation distance to prevent contamination by natural crossing or mechanical mixture. 5. Roughing of seed fields prior to the stage at which they could contaminate the seed crop. 6. Avoiding genetic shifts by growing crops in areas in there adaptation only. 7. Adopting the generation system. 8. Sampling and sealing of cleaned lots. 9. Periodic testing of varieties for genetic purity. 10.Grow on test 11.Certification of seed crops to maintain genetic purity and quality of seed. B. Agronomic Principles:Agronomic principles which govern the quality of seed production and which arecontrollable by men are given below: 1. Selection of an agro-climatic region:A crop variety to be grown for seed production in an area must be adapted to thephotoperiod and temperature condition prevailing in that area. 2. Selection of seed plot:Plot must be free from volunteer plants, weed, and have good soil texture andfertility with free from soil borne diseases and pest. 3. Isolation of seed crops: 22
  23. 23. The seed crop must be isolated from other nearby fields of the same crops and theother contaminating crops as per requirement of the certification standards. 4. Preparation of land:Good land preparation helps improved germination, good stand establishment anddestruction of potential weeds. It also aids in water management and good uniformirrigation. 5. Selection of variety:The variety of seed production must be carefully selected, should possess diseaseresistance, earliness, grain quality, a higher yielder and adapted to the agro climaticconditions of the region. 6. Seed selection:The seed used for raising a seed crop should be of known purity, appropriate classan invariably obtain from an authorized official agency. 7. Seed treatment:Depending upon the requirement the following seed treatment may be given-  Chemical treatment  Bacterial inoculation for the legume  Seed treatment for breaking dormancy 8. Time of planting:The seed crops should invariably be shown at their normal planting time.Depending upon the incidence of diseases and pests, some adjustments could bemade, if necessary. 9. Seed rate:Lower seed rates than usual for raising commercial crop are desirable because theyfacilitate rouging operations and inspection of seed crops. 10.Method of sowing:The most efficient and ideal method of sowing is by mechanical drilling. 11.Depth of sowing:Depth of sowing is extremely important in ensuring good plant stand. Small seedsshould usually be planted shallow but large seed could be planted a little deeper. 12.Roughing:Adequate and timely roughing is extremely important in seed production.Roughing in most of the field crops may be done at many of the following stagesas per needs of the seed crop.  Vegetative/Pre- flowering stage  Flowering stage  Maturity stage 23
  24. 24. 13.Supplementary pollination:Provision of honey bees in hives in close proximity to the seed fields of cropslargely cross pollinated by insects, ensure good seed set thereby greatly increaseseed yields. 14.Weed control:Good weed control is the basic requirement in producing good quality seed. Weedsmay cause contamination of seed crops, in addition to reduction in yield. 15.Disease and pest control:Successful disease and insect control is another important factor in rising healthyseed crops. Apart from reduction of yield, the quality of seeds from diseased andinsect damaged plants is invariably poor. 16.Nutrition:In the nutrition of seed crops, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and several otherelements play an important role for proper development of plants and seed. It is,therefore advisable to know and identify the nutritional requirement of seed cropsand apply adequate fertilizers. Nitrogen fertilizers should be applied 15% less ofrecommended does for seed crops. 17.Irrigation:Irrigation can be important at planting for seed crops on dry soils to ensure gooduniform germination and adequate crop stands. Excess moisture or prolongeddrought adversely affects germination and frequently results in crop stands. 18.Harvesting of seed crops:It is the great importance to harvest a seed crop at the time that will allow both themaximum yield and the best quality seed. 19.Drying of seeds:In order to preserve seed viability and vigour it is necessary to dry seeds to safemoisture content levels. 20. Storage of raw seeds:The best method of sowing seed for short periods is in sacks or bags in ordinarybuildings godowns. 24
  25. 25. 10. Quality control operation during seed processing:After harvesting, seed must be processed to required levels of physical purity andgermination. Careful handling and specific procedures are necessary to maintainseed vigour and genetic purity. A satisfactory shelf life is dependent upon safestorage according to established environmental criteria both before and afterprocessing. Steps of seed processing are as followed:  Threshing:For small-scale seed production, it is often not cost effective to purchase threshingequipment because of the small volume of seed produced. A number of smallalternative seed companies, specializing in heirlooms and specialty seed, threshmost, if not all of their seed by hand. Fig. Threshing  Cleaning:It is not necessary to have expensive seed cleaning equipment to clean seed forsmall-scale production. Winnowing will still be necessary to remove smaller chaff.Many seeds can be screened with several different mesh sizes of hardware cloth.Hardware cloth is readily available in the following mesh sizes: 1/2", 3/8", 1/4",and 1/8". The 1/2" and 1/4" mesh sizes are available at most hardware stores. The3/8" and 1/8" mesh sizes are the most useful sizes, but are the most difficult to find.  Seed drying:Drying is a normal part of the seed maturation process. Some seeds must dry downto minimum moisture content before they can germinate. Low seed moisturecontent is a pre-requisite for long-term storage, and is the most important factor 25
  26. 26. affecting longevity. Seeds lose viability and vigor during processing and storagemainly because of high seed moisture content (seed moisture greater than 18%).Conventionally sun drying is most popular method for seed drying but inaccidental case sometimes mechanical dryer are used. Fig. Drying of seed (Sundry and Mechanical Dryer)  Sorting :As you know, seed can vary dramatically in size even though it is within the sameseed lot. Climate, environment, and grower management practices stronglyinfluence the seed development every year. Varying genetics often result in seedthat is shaped and sized differently than other genetics. All of these factors aretaken into consideration during the sizing process.  Seed treatments:Seed treatment can be a physical or chemical process. 1. Physical seed treatment-Heat treatments are somewhat rare in rice, but can be accomplished using hotwater, dry heat or steam to kill seed borne pests and pathogens. Heat treatment caninjury or kill the seed, especially if it is old, injured or has a low heat tolerance.Hot water treatment at 52-57ºC for 15 minutes can eradicate most of the soil bornediseases. 2. Chemical treatment-Fungicides, bactericides, insecticides, and nematicides can be applied as gases,liquids or powder. No broad spectrum fungicides exist, so mixes may often beused. While chemical seed treatment is not widely practiced, the most commonchemicals used are Benlate T and Homai. Seed treatment may be used to controlpests that are not actually seed borne pathogens. 26
  27. 27. 11. Quality control of Seed in StorageSeed quality can deteriorate rapidly without good storage conditions.Theprincipal purpose of seed storage is to preserveeconomic crops from one season toanother to fulfill desired objectives. Storagetemperature and moisture content arethe most importantfactors affecting seed longevity, with seed moisturecontentusually being more influential than temperature. Seed quality is largely dependenton storagetemperature, relative humidity, seed moisture content,length of storage,type of seeds.The two most important factors in seed storage are moisturecontent andtemperature.Of these two factors, seed moisture content isthe mostimportant.Every 1% decrease in seed moisture content doubles the storage life.Every5°C decrease in seed storage temperature doubles the storage life.Good seed storage results when seeds are kept dry (below 8 percent moisture) andthe temperature is kept low (below 40 degrees). When seed moisture and storagetemperature are low, the presence of oxygen has not been shown to be a factor inseed longevity. Germination is unaffected by storage in atmospheres of nitrogen,carbon dioxide, partial vacuum or air. Relative humidity (RH) influences themoisture content of seed if it is not stored in moisture-proof containers. Forexample, at 15 percent RH, seed will dry down to 6 percent moisture and will storesafely in this condition for several years. So that, Optimum Environment forSeed Storage at 5 - 10 ºC and 25 - 35 % humidity. 11.1. Storage facility designThe design of storage facilities can be approached two ways: (1) creating a coldstorage environment or (2) using the conditioned storage concept.Both approaches can achieve the desired result as long as conditions provide forlower temperatures, give adequate ventilation, and exclude moisture as necessary.Overall steps are as follows-  Cleaning the storage structure: 27
  28. 28.  Cleaning out side of storage: Disinfect used sacks: Overhanging roof extensions on storage structures 28
  29. 29. 11.2. Lower temperatures:Lower temperature can be facilitated in various ways. Simple solutions includeusing reflective paint, increasing insulation, or using the more expensive approachof cooling units. With cooling units, the issue of relative humidity must beaddressed. 11.3. Moisture exclusion:Moisture content can bemaintained with the installation of dehumidificationsystems. However, this approach can certainly increase thecost of a storagefacility. The two methods normally used fordehumidification involve using eitherchemical desiccants or refrigeration units. Moisture removed throughrefrigeration/heating units must exit the storage area. 11.4. Adequate ventilation:Ventilation can beobtained with the use of various types of fans incombinationwithcorrect venting for the room involved. 11.5. Controlling of Rats and other storage pest:Rats may responsible for destruction of storage seeds. Sometimes different insectpest cause deterioration of the quality of crops. There are two ways for preventingrat and insect infestation. Frist one is mechanical prevention by which pest cannotenter inside and second is converting storage environment unfavorable for pest. Inthis why need efficient storage management and cleaning. Fig. inside of storage 11.6. Security:The storage room should be locked and access restricted to trained personnel. 29
  30. 30. 12.Seed testing Organization in BangladeshSeedTesting Wing:Seed testing wing is also an important wing comprising of i) National Seed Testing Laboratory, Gazipur is headed by CST, ii) Regional Seed Testing Laboratory (RSTL) Ishurdi, pabnais headed by Agronomist. iii) Agronomy department, all Agricultural UniversityPurity, Germination, Moisture and other tests are conducted by 6 seed Analysts intwo laboratories. Seed Analysts are fully responsible to analysis the Seed sampleswhich are collected from public, private and NGOs sector as well as marketmonitoring samples. Chief seed technologist supervises and monitors the overallactivities of seed analysts. Actually seed testing wing involving to assurance ofquality seeds. If the test result of the sample comes in a close conformity with theseed standard fixed by NSB, the representing seed lots of processing centers areaccepted for certification. In case of sub-standard value of test result, the seed lotsare rejected.Another, top most seed health testing institute named “Seed Pathology Centre(SPC)” at Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh.More or less every private seed company’s has own research and development(R&D) sector for improving material and method on context of quality assurance. 30
  31. 31. 13. Quality Control on Fertilizer 13.1. IntroductionTowards the end of the nineteenth century, scientists began to worry about whetherthe crop output would be enough to sustain a rapidly increasing population. Thebest solution to this problem would be to increase crop yields with fertilizers.Fertilizer has played a pivotal role in increasing agricultural production in anycountry,more so in developing nations, where the population growth rate hasoutstripped all othergrowth rates.In Bangladesh, there are about 107 kinds of fertilizes used by farmers. Theincreasing fertilizer demand, its cost and may be, at times its scarceavailabilitythrows up many problems pertaining to making available the rightquality of the fertilizersto the farmers. Farmers are not in a position to examine thequality of fertilizers at thedealers point. Adulterated fertilizers can cause seriousdamage to the soil and crops.The quality of fertilizers cannot be checked after itsapplication and, therefore it has to beensured, prior to its application and farmersneed to be protected from any malpractice.Simultaneously, importers have to beprotected against under harassment at the handsof enforcement machinery orunscrupulous dealers.The quality of a fertilizer is of huge significance in Bangladesh where above 75%of people are employed in agriculture and on its output depends not only economicprosperity but also livelihoods status.The elaborate quality control mechanism that exists in Bangladesh ensuresidentification of producer and seller of fertilizers. Nonetheless, concerns have beenraised from government and stake holders about the quality of fertilizers being soldin the market, emphasizing the need for revamping the quality mechanism fromtime to time. 13.2. FertilizerFertilizers are generally defined as "any material, organic or inorganic, natural orsynthetic, which supplies one or more of the chemical elements required for theplant growth". 31
  32. 32. 13.3. Types of fertilizers:Fertilizers are categorized into three broad categories –Primary fertilizersPopularly called chemical fertilizers containing nitrogen, phosphorous andpotassium i.e., N, P, KSecondary fertilizersWithsulphur, calcium and magnesium and Micro Nutrient Fertilizers (MNF)providing zinc, boron, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum etc.While the primary fertilizers are required in larger amounts, the secondaryfertilizers and the MNFs are required in smaller quantities. The micro nutrients arealso called trace elements whose deficiency can affect food grain yield equally. 13.4. Quality of fertilizers:Quality fertilizer means that fertilizer which able to provide desired nutrients atplace of application. The most critical issue concerns the quality of the fertilizersprovided to the farmers, and therefore, the quality control system that ensuresdelivery of good quality fertilizers must be effectiveand efficient.12.5. Quick detection of adulteration in fertilizers:There are two methods for determination of fertilizer quality. 1. Chemical method 2. Physical method.For effective enforcement of fertilizer quality the Government has set up FertilizerTesting Laboratories to test the fertilizer samples. These tests are authentic andreliable. However, somephysical testing methods have been developed by theSRDI which can help the farmers to know if the fertilizer is genuineor adulterated.But applications of these methods need more skills and clear concept about thecharacteristics of fertilizers. But these techniques are easy and overall costs oftesting are reasonable. 32
  33. 33. 12.6. List of fertilizer analysis authority (Govt. approved) Sl. No. Name of organization Address1 Soil Resource Development Institute ( SRDI has Soil Building, 11 soil testing laboratory in different region of KrishiKhamarSarak, Bangladesh) Dhaka-12152 Bangladesh Nuclear Agricultural Research Soil Science Division, Institute BINA, Mymensingh3 Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute Soil Science Division, BARI, Mymensingh4 Bangladesh Standard Testing Institute BSTI, Tejgaon, Dhaka5 Department of Soil, Water and Environment Dhaka University6 Bangladesh Rice Research Institute Soil Science Division, BRRI, Joydebpur, Gazipur12.7. Condition of storage facility for fertilizerThere are some conditions for good storage practice. During the time of storage,sometimes mass quality deterioration occurred. Special care should be taken forpreventing quality deterioration by excess moisture and temperature.Storage facility design:Good fertilizer storage means Store dry fertilizers in a closed, locked building thathas a sealed, impermeable floor. Infrastructure designs are same as seeds.Bagged Fertilizer Storage:There is a widespread and often unquestioned belief that warehouses for storage ofbagged fertilizers should be freelyventilated.Most fertilizers contain water-solublesalts, which have been proven to be effective in supplying mineral nutrients tocrops. All fertilizer materials are directly affected by water and can interact withmoisture in the atmosphere. The property used as an indicator of the degree oflikely interaction with atmospheric moisture is the critical relative humidity(CRH) of the fertilizer. 33
  34. 34. It can be recommended that properly designed store house for bagged fertilizer notbe permanently ventilated, particularly where long term storage is involved. Whenhumidity levels are high, the storehouse should be kept as tightly closed aspossible. During period of high humidity, entry of such humid air should,however, be minimized. During period of low humidity, essentially when theweather is sunny and dry, ventilation should be maximized. This means thatdoors, windows and ventilators should be opened and if available, extraction fansor mechanical ventilation can be used. Fig. Storage of Bagged fertilizerInventory and Recordkeeping:Inventory should be actively maintained as chemicals are added or removed fromstorage;containers should be dated when purchased; outdated materials should beremoved on a regularbasis.LightingElectrical lighting should allow view into all areas and cabinets within the storagearea.MonitoringThere should be monthly inspection of storage for 1) signs of container corrosionor otherdamage - leaking or damaged containers should be repackaged asappropriate, 2) faultyventilation, electrical, and fire suppression systems –problems should be reported and corrected. 34
  35. 35. Handling of fertilizers:Limit the handling of fertilizer to avoidthe deterioration of granule quality.Avoidrough handling when unloading/loading with shovels and conveyor belts.Clean upany spills immediately and makesure that no spilled product ends up in thewater orsewage system. 35
  36. 36. RecommendationQuality control (QC) is an important concern in agribusiness. Using of qualityinputs e.g. seeds, fertilizer, pesticide etc play vital role in agricultural production.Almost all agro business agency try to maintains their own quality throughestablishing distinguish research and development (R&D) section. Making thequality control monitoring and regulatory system morerealistic and in line with thetechnical and organizational imperatives. 1. Strong and efficient quality control section (R&D) should be build up for frequent test of quality during the time of entry, storage and packaging. 2. Proper training package should be introduced for further development to the farmer level and respective processing unit. 3. In case of production of quality seeds in Bangladesh, farmers should follow appropriate principles of production (genetic and agronomic). 4. A seed testing laboratory should be established for easy and quick determination of seed quality. 5. Store house should be well designed and full equipped for storing seeds and fertilizers. Seeds and fertilizers should not store together. 6. In time of packaging, weight should be checked appropriately. 36
  37. 37. ReferencesAEM Tier II Worksheet, Fertilizer Storage & Handling in the Greenhouse, Agriculture Environmental Management (AEM)AOSA. 2009. Seed Vigor Testing Handbook. Contribution No. 32 to the Handbook onSeedTesting.International Fertilizer Development Center.1979, Fertilizi Manual, Chapter XXII: "Physical and Chemical Properties ot Fertilizers and Methods for Their Determination." IFDC-R-1, Muscle Shoals, Alabama 35662, U.S.A.International Rules for Seed Testing, Rules Edition 2012; ISBN 978-3-906549-69- 9 (Annexe to Chapter 7)International rules of seed testing, ISTA, 2003Official website of Ministry of agriculture, The people’s republic of Bangladesh (http://www.moa.gov.bd/agencies/SCA.htm)Official website of Seed certification Agency, The people’s republic of Bangladesh (http://sca.gov.bd/PageDetails.aspx?PageID=2) 37
  38. 38. AppendixElaboration of some terms used in this report.CRH= Critical relative humidityCST=Chief seed technologistISTA=The International Seed Testing Association that with it member laboratories establishes the international standards and procedures for seed testing.Pedigreed seed = Genetically pure seed of a known variety, developed with unique characteristics such as disease resistance, or with special qualities for Milling or malt markets.QC= Quality controlR&D= Research and developmentSCA= Seed certificate agencySPC= Seed pathology centerSRDI= Soil resource development institute 38